Chop wood. Carry water.

I’ve been reared to go down to the well for a bucket of water, bring it back up, fill the black pot. … My baking is done on the hearth fire. I bake my own bread in my pot ovens. Perhaps it is long drawn out. But it’s all I’ve ever known. Margaret Gallagher, 1992, All I’ve Ever Known In 1992, Margaret Gallagher was turning 50. She landed her first job at 46, working as a local historian. Today she’s…

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The roads we make

We all agreed we had to start learning from the people we were working with, and that we had to learn from each other. Myles Horton, #HortonFreire , We Make the Road by Walking So I’m in a pop-up book club, which is probably the only kind of book club I can manage, as I’m a terrible reader. I have a vision of book clubs that is part Oprah, and part my friend David the philosopher who tells me stories of Melbourne book…

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Heresy and kindness

There’s too much to do in too little time with too little money to be world-class in everything we do. What we can and should do is recognise the limits of what’s possible and encourage people to do their best – and I don’t just mean that managers need to do better. We all need a little more humanity. The Plashing Vole, Good enough Here’s a tale. When I first started thinking about how to write in public about the…

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The heart of it

The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it. Akarshan Kumar, on #TwitterHeart Here’s the thing. There is no single Twitter experience, no coherent “you” that can be better enabled by corporate tinkering within its miniaturist frame, because Twitter is just people. Millions of us use…

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Making change

So why are most universities monolithic, conservative, bureaucratic and resistant to change? F. M. Cornford’s splendid little monograph Microcosmographia Academica (1908) examines the “enemy of inertia” and finds that “there is only one argument for doing something; the rest are arguments for doing nothing”. While change is theoretically deemed to be a “good thing” by “change managers” – commonly known as vice-chancellors and deputy vice-chancellors – those managers often encounter resistance from ordinary academics. Steve Olivier, ‘How to manage rapid change‘ Ordinary…

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